Boy, 5, dies in house fire

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 17, 2007

A late Sunday night fire has claimed the life of a Wessonkindergarten student, authorities said.

Brandon Wallace, 5, a student at Wesson Attendance Center, waspronounced dead at 1 a.m. Monday, said Copiah County Deputy CoronerDr. Rick Akin. Wallace was the son of Joseph and Sarah Smith.

Akin said the boy most likely died of smoke inhalation but hewas awaiting official results pending an autopsy.

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The fire started at the home of the boy’s parents at 2069Ferguson Lane in Hazlehurst.

Akin said he believed the home was once a doublewide mobilehome. It was located about 15 miles west of Hazlehurst in the Allencommunity.

Copiah County Fire Coordinator Randall Drane said the originalcall came in around 10:30 p.m.

“When the first units arrived on scene, they said the south endof the house was fully involved,” Drane said.

The rest of the house was filled with heavy smoke, he added.

Drane said the first units on the scene went inside the home tolocate the boy but were having problems finding him.

“Two fire department units went inside the window where he wassupposed to be,” Drane said. “But they were unable to locatehim.”

Drane said there were no injuries to other members of the boy’sfamily, including Wallace’s 8-year-old sister, Rebecca. Rebecca,whom firefighters were able to rescue, is a third-grade student atWesson Attendance Center.

Drane said the mother, father and two children were asleep inthe home when the fire broke out.

Four volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze, saidDrane. Smyrna, Allen, Barlow and Hazlehurst units battled theblaze, which is still under investigation.

Akin said an official from the state fire marshal’s office willbe at the scene today to try and determine the origin.